Thoughts on Disney World in a wheelchair?

We were planning a November trip but my Dad has unexpectedly had some health issues. He will now need to travel in a wheelchair although he can take some steps with assistance. We have never traveled with a wheelchair before so our learning curve will be pretty steep! I’m afraid if we cancel we will miss our only opportunity to go together. My parents want us to take the grandchildren without them but the rest of us hate that idea. Staying at the Polynesian, only 3 days doing MK, MVMCP, and AK. Any thoughts?

I’m sorry about your dad. Does he feel well enough to go? We took my mom in June 2016. She has memory issues and is sometimes unsteady on her feet, but is mostly in good health. We brought a transport wheelchair for her since she doesn’t have the cognitive ability to drive an ECV. It was a smaller size, easy to push, and also collapsed down if we needed to carry it (we did this once on the bus because two wheelchairs were in line ahead of us). It worked really well for us.

We got an ECV for Mom on our last trip with her. The ECV turned out to be hard for her to handle especially with crowds and people just walking out in front of her without any warning. So we got a regular wheelchair instead. It turned out to be much less stressful for everyone. My advice, is that your touring speed will be a little slower, but wonderful memories can still be made! So just slow down a bit and enjoy!

Wheelchair or ECV is the way to go. Also look into get a DAS card, this will help on wait time for everyone in your group.

DW has used an EVC in the parks for the last two trips and it was really pretty easy - but she doesn’t need one around the resorts, so we just rented by the day at the parks. One of my good friends’ wives has been wheelchair bound for 10 years, and WDW is about the only place they go on vacation because it is so wheelchair-friendly. He always jokingly said that with pushing the chair around all day, he didn’t need to spend time in the gym while on vacation.

Thanks so much! We are going to let him recover a little more, not cancel the trip, cross our fingers and hope he decides to go! I think this will be the last time he will be well enough to actually enjoy it even if it’s not the way he wanted to go. He really wanted to watch our kids reactions to everything. Thanks again.

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It is very manageable based on my family’s experience and the Polynesian is the place to be for wheelchair access according to my dad. My grandmother (Dad’s mom) is in her 90s and my dad has gone to WDW with her in 2015 and 2016 for a couple of days. She is in good health, but can’t walk all day so he rents her a wheelchair and it works well (she can walk onto attractions). My dad loved staying at the Poly and visiting MK and EP (these are the only parks they did that trip) because it was so easy to roll the wheelchair right on to the monorail.

My whole family went this past June and Grandma came along for 2 days: 1 at EP and the other at AK. She had a great time. The CMs asked her when we got in a line if she could walk a few steps to enter the ride vehicle (she can do this). She could usually stay in the wheelchair until the loading platform and then enter the ride there.

BTW, Grandma found the safari at AK to be uncomfortably bumpy (and she enjoyed KRR). We were seated in the last row which is may be the bumpiest so maybe ask for the front row.